• 45°
Nellie Cottrell loves Phil Campbell’s Bruiser the Bobcat.

Baseball: PC aims to capitalize on experience

There is only one thing the Phil Campbell Bobcats can do to top their semi-final run from last year – go all the way.

With the bulk of his team returning from a 33-10 season and deep pitching staff, Bobcat head coach Johnathan Raper said he can’t help but feel excited about the season, but he also needs to challenge his team.

“Our guys are very confident and believe they can compete,” said Raper. “They want to be the best, and they want to play people who will push them to be the best.”

For that reason, Raper made a concerted effort to beef up an already-tough schedule to challenge his team and ready them for another run at a blue map, adding teams like Brooks, Mars Hill, Boaz and Oneonta to the schedule.

“We have been working hard,” said Raper. “The guys are confident, but sometimes they can be a little overconfident. They have to realize they have to work hard every day.

“We lost some key players from last year, and we just have to keep working and eliminate little mistakes that can cost ball games.”

From top to bottom the Bobcats’ lineup is strong, and most are juniors: Elian Garrison (C,P), Luke Barnwell (IF,P), Ridge Raper (3B,P), Levi Crittenden (OF), Trey Liendecker (OF), Brett Saint (OF,P) and Austen Baker (Utility). Sophomore Mason Swinney (IF,P) will also be in the lineup.

Phil Campbell plays in an area with Colbert Height and East Lawrence.